That Interesting Rutherford...

by Tuesday 10 Replies latest jw friends

  • Tuesday

    Has anyone written a biography of him?

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    There is a bit of info about him in the book Four Presidents of the Watch Tower Society by Edmund Gruss

    But it certainly isn't a bio of him. Sooo much more could be said

  • greendawn

    I don't think there is one for this colourful character, some people on this forum were considering the idea of spending time and effort to write one.

  • Tuesday

    I would like to see something like that come about personally. Really I would love it researched by like A&E or something for like an hour biography. I'm sure it would be trashed by Witnesses and told not to watch it, but some would. I'm sure something really interesting could be written of him. Come now, we all must see the irony of a hard-drinking, hard-living man being the head of "God's Orginization".

  • VM44

    Here is why no biography of Rutherford (or of Russell) has been published, despite their being founders of a world wide religious group.

    The book would not sell well!

    Who would buy it? JWs and ex-JWs, and even among those groups the number of interested ones who would buy the book is limited.

    The lack of interest is interesting in itself.

    Just last week I went to the university library and there were several(!) books on Father Coughlin, the socialist catholic priest who had a radio program during the 1920s and 1930s, and was quite an outspoken proponent of socialism. (so much so that the Social Security website has pages about him!). Coughlin spoke against Rutherford (although that is not included in most of Coughlin's biographies) and is said to have orgainized the Madison Square rukus.

    Here is what is said about Coughlin in the book, "Faith on the March":

    Then, at the height of this bitter fight another element appeared. It gave sure evidence that fascism was making serious inroads into the American way of life. In Detroit, Michigan, a Roman Catholic priest, Charles Coughlin, began to arouse a certain class of persons who formed themselves into groups called "the Christian Front." In 1937 when Coughlin was feeling his strength, a public address, "Government and Peace," by Judge Rutherford, was widely advertised to be delivered on Sunday afternoon, June 25, in New York's Madison Square Garden. It was to be carried simultaneously by wire and wireless facilities to vast assemblies in numerous cities in this country and other lands. Soon we discovered a concerted effort was being planned to prevent this talk's being given, both in New York and elsewhere. The police were notified days in advance of threats that had been made that the meeting would be broken up, so when the day for the talk arrived they were present in force. In the course of the actual delivery of the lecture in New York a mob of Coughlin's "Christian Front" men and women, who had planted themselves in the Garden at the last minute, began to boo and shout. Their object was to start a riot and thus break up the meeting. When the interruption actually began, the police made no effort to stop it or assist the staff of Jehovah's witnesses assigned as ushers who attempted to quell the disturbance. Eventually our own ushers had forcibly to eject the troublemakers. Not only did the police refuse to help, but upon insistence of some of the rioters, three of the ushers were arrested and accused of felonious assault. When the case came to trial, however, they were not only exonerated but the three-judge court commended them for their firmness in resisting the attempt to break up the lawful assembly after the police had wholly failed to perform their duty. Within a few months Coughlin's influence began to wane.

    Now if Coughlin deserves several biographies, why are there none for Rutherford? As I mentioned above, it probably is lack of an interested group of potential readers.

    Plus the additional fact that it is hard to find information about Rutherford today! When he was alive, people who knew him kept hush hush about Rutherford's attributes, even more so after he died in 1942. Even Rutherford's son, Malcolm, would not give interviews about his father.

    No one who knows anything wanted to say anthing about him!

    The above being said, there still might be a possibility of a biography of some sort being published by a dedicated researcher who will overcome the obstacles.


  • Van Gogh
    Van Gogh

    Any book can sell, provided it is well written and marketed. Rutherfraud was an extremely colorful and secretive character/protagonist, and as soon as the negative PR shit will hit the fan in Crooklyn sometime in the near future, your book will need to be ready and on sale. You will have to have written it by then in order to market it using the wave of publicity.

    On some other thread here on JWD an interview between Dr. Jerry Bergman and a researcher was published. The researcher was writing a Phd or book on Haydon Covington. Bergman was treating Haydon Covington for depression, so knew him. HC must have known lots of secrets about The Judge he never disclosed after he was crucified by Knorr: he idolized the man and must have been like him a lot, at least in the liquor department. If a book on HC is viable, why shouldn’t one on JR be? Interestingly something was mentioned there about the Madison SG ruckus: According to HC, he hated Knorr for running from the fighting.

    Many people like M. James Penton and Gruz must also have collected lots of stuff on The Judge. It's just a case of piecing it all together. Or someone might want to take it on as a Phd.

  • Tuesday

    Wow, this sounds crazy but the fact there are no books about him just makes me more intrigued to find out some cool stuff about him and piece something together. Any other help from anyone would be great, if you can point me to some resources, more-so book wise. I mean obviously outside sources would be great, I do have his books the Rainbow series I believe they're called. Or at least three of them. I doubt someone could piece together a descent biography on that. But any sources physical book wise please p.m. me or post 'em here, that would be killer.

  • MerryMagdalene

    You might see what you can find on here...


  • r51785

    VM44, Interesting comparison to Father Coughlin. I've read a biography of Coughlin and thought that he and Rutherford had much in common: hatred of big business and big government. It seems to me that men like these two were creatures of their time. In the aftermath of The Great War there were strong socialist movements in many countries including the USA. Just as Rutherford was jailed during the war so was the great socialist leader Eugene Debs. I think that Rutherford was an amalgamation of men like Debs, Coughlin and William Jennings Bryan (supposedly in his pre-WT days Rutherford was a supporter of Bryan). Why do most people remember Debs and Coughlin and forget Rutherford? Good question. I think a solid biography of Rutherford would garner some interest. But this would be very hard to write without WT cooperation which of course would be non-existent. Bob

  • Honesty

    But there is a book about him.... Jehovah's Witnesses Proclaimers of God's Kingdom.

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